Gabriel Okara’s The Voice as Social Discourse: A Lexico-Semantic Perspective

Ebi Yeibo


Previous linguistic studies on Gabriel Okara’s The Voice have concentrated on the experimental technique of transliteration which the author adopted in the text, in response to the lingering problem of language in African literature. Such studies have paid little attention to discourse features used by the author, which are critical to the characterization of the language of the text. With Halliday’s systemic functional grammar, within the broad discourse-stylistic theoretical framework, as the analytical model, this study, therefore, examines the text as social discourse, focusing on paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations such as synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy and collocation, respectively, which help the author not only to convey meaning, but also to achieve cohesion and coherence in the text. The study enhances the understanding and interpretation of the language of Gabriel Okara’s text in particular and literary discourse in general.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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